In Washington, it is rare that you will have the roadways all to yourself. At any time of day, you will have to share the roads with other drivers.
This means that no matter how responsible you are in your own driving practices, there is always a level of risk when out on the roads. You can only control your own actions and not the conduct of other road users.
When you check your rearview mirror only to find another vehicle a matter of inches from you, this can be extremely daunting. This type of behavior is commonly referred to as tailgating. Sometimes, tailgating is accidental, the driver may simply be distracted. However, most of the time it is a form of aggression. In any case, how do you deal with tailgaters in a safe manner?
Avoid sudden shifts in speed
If someone is following too closely behind you, it may be tempting to try and catch their attention by slamming on the brakes. This is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. If the driver is distracted or traveling too fast, they will not be able to stop and a rear-end collision will ensue.
Another possibility that should be avoided at all costs is speeding up. You may become so preoccupied with the driver in your rearview, that you forget about what is in front. If you are traveling at a lawful and suitable speed, then accelerating will only cause further issues. An accident at a higher speed could result in catastrophic injuries.
What can you do?
If you are on the highway, then there are faster and slower lanes. It is likely that the driver just wants to overtake you, and the best place for them to do this is in the faster lanes. In a calm and safe manner, make your way into the slower lane. Make sure that you signal in plenty of time and avoid rash maneuvers. Competing with an angry tailgater is simply never worth it.
Aggressive or distracted drivers should not be allowed to put you at risk on the roadways in Washington. If an aggressive driver has injured you in an accident, be sure to assess your legal options to obtain the compensation you need.